India is the first country to make corporate social responsibility compulsory for the specified class of companies, wherein they need to spend 2% of average profit of the last three financial years towards its social responsibility and interestingly 60% of CSR budget directly goes to health and education as development in health care, medical research and education infrastructure are the priorities sector for the nation and spending on these sectors by companies also win the hearts of the public at large and these spending on health and education sections always have a footprint of that organisation.As per the NITI Ayog annual report for the financial year around 33% of the CSR fund directly allocated to educational purpose by corporate itself and 17.25% toward health care and its infrastructure. This paper tries to analyze how these spending will transform India’s infrastructure along with its economy.
Basic health facilities to Medical research- More than 50% of the of the total CSR of health care goes to medical research hence ensuring health care along with research in the medical field which will be fruitful in near future. Spending in health care and in medical research is very significant for the nation’s growth. Companies such as TCS,RIL and Infosys are spending around 30% of their budget toward health and medical research only.
Education infrastructure and skill building- The nation and society cannot be developed and become advanced without Education, this is the reason why around 33% of CSR budget focuses on Education development in rural and urban areas. For example, the reliance foundation has taken many initiatives in the education sector such as “education for all”, “girl child education” under this reliance foundation have constructed many primary and high schools in rural as well as in urban areas. With more than 50% of the Indian population living in rural areas, growth and development in rural areas is directly proportional to India’s economic growth.
Creating a social impact and rural development-
Central government and state government both provide various incentives and schemes to attract corporations towards rural areas for their manufacturing and other operations and as Companies Rule,2014 of CSR, under which companies have to give preference to rural development as their CSR spending.
Boost to economy- Just look at the pattern of CSR spending of Indian companies one thing which is common among them is the sector where they are allocating their CSR funds. The majority of funds goes to healthcare,education and rural development which are vital elements responsible for a nation’s growth.
Major challenges and solutions for it.
The CSR spending across the Indian states are unequal as per NITI ayog report where Maharastra, Gujarat and Karnataka get 27.50% of total CSR fund whereas all 7 north eastern states get only 0.42%. To mitigate this, the central government may amend schedule seven by adding activities specifically related to north eastern state development, such as specific percent shall be allocated to hilly and northeastern states.
Data shows that from the financial year 2014-2015 to 2018-2019 the number of companies which need to comply with CSR regulation has increased by around 50% and CSR expenditure also by 85%, and out of which 60% of the CSR budget goes to core areas of development which are heath and education. Indeed it was a good decision by the government but the government shall also consider adding some activities specifically related to hilly and northeastern states.
Niti Aayog report 2020-21
6th annual report of MCA https://www.mca.gov.in/bin/dms/getdocument?mds=elI4Ak8KIW0KIs4lScL2kw%253D%253D&type=open